The Past Week: Star Trek: Discovery, Akira, Deadpool 2
The past week has been especially exciting for avid followers of film and television. Whether you’re a die-hard science fiction fan or a casual viewer looking forward to the next Marvel movie, there was something for everyone this week. As if this wasn’t enough, it looks like manga and anime lovers have something new to look forward to (or, judging by the lukewarm reception to the live-action Ghost in the Shell remake, something to hate on). Any way you slice it, there is no shortage of news to talk about.
Rainn Wilson To Play Harry Mudd In Star Trek: Discovery
As any Trekker will tell you, one of the best things about Star Trek is the way that even one-shot characters played by guest stars are treated as equally important parts of the beloved science fiction universe created by Gene Roddenberry. A good example is The Original Series‘ Harry Mudd, a flamboyant space-faring con man portrayed by Roger C. Carmel who proved to be so popular that the show’s producers brought him back for two more episodes, one in TOS and another as a voice role in Star Trek: The Animated Series.
So imagine my delight this week when it was announced that not only would the character appear in CBS‘s Star Trek: Discovery, but that he would be played by Rainn Wilson. Yes, Rainn Wilson, he of The Office fame. I must say that he wasn’t the first person that came to mind for the role, but knowing the franchise’s aptitude for taking the most unlikely actors and having them play memorable characters, I have full faith in this casting. Combined with the show’s already promising roster of talent, Wilson’s casting guarantees that Star Trek: Discovery will be as much worth watching as the best of the long-running franchise.
Jordan Peele In Running To Direct Akira Remake
With everybody and their grandma unloading on Ghost in the Shell, it would seem counterintuitive for studios to consider remaking more classic anime properties as live-action films. This is thanks to the rock and the hard place they are stuck between when it comes to such adaptations: if they stay true to the source material and cast only Asians in main roles, then they run the risk of not making their money back due to the unfortunate fact that only a few Asian actors have the kind of star power that guarantees they will draw out the kind of audiences these movies need. But if they cast whites or people belonging to other non-Asian groups in such roles, observers will view this as disrespectful to the original material at best and disrespectful to Asian people at worst and encourage others to criticize the movie or even worse, not see it at all.
Yet in spite of this, Warner Bros. has apparently decided to move forward with its long-stalled Akira remake and approached Jordan Peele of all people to helm it. Now I have yet to see Get Out and have only seen a few Key & Peele sketches, so I can’t really comment on his suitability for the project, but I certainly do have concerns about the film. No, not whether or not the WB will be able to navigate the aforementioned rock and hard place, but whether the movie will be even a fraction as fantastic as the 1988 anime, which ranks as one of the greatest animated films of all time, if not the greatest films period. Even if they do manage to turn a profit on the production without offending absolutely anyone, will the end result be worth seeing? Given what tends to happen when a genuine compromise is reached, I think it’s safe to answer “probably not.”
Russell Crowe Considered For Cable In Deadpool 2
Although I noted last week that Michael Shannon was the reported frontrunner for the role of Cable in Deadpool 2, it seems that he now has a truly formidable opponent for the role. In addition to David Harbour (aka the sheriff from Stranger Things), he now has to contend with Russell Crowe before gets to play the X-Men fan favorite for sure. I will not pretend to be neutral in this affair (I’m Team Zod all the way baby), but I fear that 20th Century Fox, smelling the buzz and revenue that is sure to come with Crowe’s star power, will go with the Beautiful Mind star over the General. Oh well, hopefully he’ll at least get to play Jaws in the next James Bond movie, seeing as he bears an uncanny resemblance to Richard Kiel.